31. Diary Entry: Dover, Eastbourne, London

To be honest, I’m not quite sure about the real structure of a “perfect” diary entry. In the end, every diary entry starts up with a blank page, and lots and lots of ideas to be written down on it. But it is not only the page of a diary entry which is blank first and gets more and more filled with ideas and memories. Sometimes, things are the same if you start a journey.

For me, it was the same with our excursion to Canterbury. What started up as a bus trip with about 50 people who did not even know each other, developed to a little adventure. An adventure with lovely people and nights filled with Cyder and Carlsberg beer. A trip I will remember for the rest of my life; a journey that got me back to school, feeling like a pupil on a class trip, with the advantage that all of us were over 20 and Cyder was allowed for all of us.

One of the trips that were breathtaking for me, was the day one of or groups went on the hike along the chalk cliffs of Dover, while the other group of people visited Dover Castle. I was in the group of people who visited Dover castle. To be honest, I have never seen a British castle before, except of some pictures on postcards and from the internet. Of course, the castle was great, but like nearly every castle it was made of stone, was placed on a hill and even was old. We spend a couple of hours visiting the castle, taking some funny pictures on the old cannons and hanging around on the fresh mowed British meadow, with a fantastic view over Dover harbour with its white cliffs, welcoming all the other people who arrive in Britain by ferry.But it was not Dover Castle itself that made this day to one of these days to write and think about.
Actually it was the visit in Eastborn.

The visit at the beach full of stones, a cloudy sky and rough winds should make the whole group come together, and closer to each other. We listened to songs by Ben Howard. Songs that I loved before, but which got far more important and emotional by sharing them with other wonderful people in such a special atmosphere. At the same time this was the first day my feet touched the cold rough water of the British coast. I really enjoyed the sea.

In the evening we did the same things we did throughout the whole period of the trip.All together we played flunkyball, frisbee and beerpong. Everything felt like we were on a class trip with 50 teenagers. The days and the nights were long, which most of the time ended in a nap of about three hours, till we had to get out of bed again to discover more of Britain’s sights. All in all, this was one of the days which made the trip as wonderful as it was in the end. Besides all the other days, of which every single one was perfect for me, the trip to London was one of the experiences that I will never forget. The day trip started a bit later than it was actually planned by the instructors and the bus driver, because of the trip the day before , from which we returned late because we wanted to watch the fireworks at 22:30 in the evening.

If I remember it correctly, it took us about two hours to get to London. We arrived in the financial district and London’s atmosphere directly reached me the moment I left the bus. There were all these posh people, men in their suits and women in their dresses, hurrying from one side of the street to another. London appeared to be hectic and full of completely different people. The first thing we did, was to get a tube ticket. The cheapest and quickest way to discover London within one day. We decided to visit at least some of London’s sights. Our group went to Camden Market where lots of young people and retailers bargained about the prices for clothes and other things. The ambiance was like I expect it to be on a bazar; diverse and colourful.
After Camden Market, we visited Big Ben, and got confronted with the enormous size of the city. The whole group decided to stay in one of London’s beautiful Parks, which led us to Hyde park. I enjoyed the time there. By the time we entered the gates of the park through the tube station, London completely changed its vibe to me.

The hectic city with its pulsating life, full of cars and people who seem to be running around aimlessly, turned into a beauty of nature. The time seemed to stand still for the hours we spend in the park, relaxing to good music from our resident Dj Julian and his red musicbox. The magic moment of our trip to London also took place in Hyde Park.
There was a family of coloured people who also escaped the city’s stress. They had two little girls with them who were very temperamental. They were laughing and dancing around their parents, which was such a cute scene. When one of the little girls heard our music, she decided to join us and give us little presents. Don’t ask me how, but she managed to get us all together with her family.

We talked to her parents and danced with her. The situation was so fantastic and wonderful, because it showed me that even such an anonymous big city like London can be emotional an upfront, only depending on the people you meet there. For me, it was a wonderful day with lots of inspiring people, street musicians and a lovely group.

The whole trip was great, and I will remember all of these little things we all experienced together. I really enjoyed the time in Canterbury. Thank you to all the people who made this journey as funny and breathtaking as it was.